Halal Industry

UK’s Halal Food Authority receives ESMA recognition, gains access to UAE market

| 19 February, 2017
 Emmy Abdul Alim

The Halal Food Authority (HFA) is now registered as a recognised halal certification body by the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (ESMA) through January 22, 2019, HFA CEO Saqib Mohammed told Salaam Gateway.

The UK-based HFA considers the UAE a key market in terms of consumption and high-quality premium offerings to a diverse audience, said the organisation. 

The independent, not-for-profit organisation has certified around 200 companies and over 7,000 halal products, according to Mohammed. Of these, 95 percent are in the food sector and the rest are in pharma and personal care.

Mohammed now sees the potential for higher growth for HFA halal-certified exports. 

“We anticipate a further growth of 5 to 7 percent over the next one year with a strong potential to increase this to around 10 percent in the year after. This growth will be in addition to current industry growth of over 10 percent in the UK,” he said.

HFA is already recognised by other leading agencies, including Malaysia’s JAKIM, Indonesia’s MUI, Singapore’s MUIS, Turkey’s GIMDES, Thailand’s CICOT and other certifiers from the United States, South Africa, Europe, central Asia and Australia, said Mohammed.

The agency has further expansion plans. “We have extended our presence in Europe and operate an office in Belgium, too, with a further plan to expand in Asia,” said Mohammed.

According to the ESMA website, HFA is registered to certify the following products:

Processing 1 (Perishable animal products)Eggs, dairy, fish and meat (processed and portioned products), excluding animal slaughtering
Processing 2 (Perishable vegetable products)Fruits, fresh juices, vegetables, cereals, spices, cereal products, fruits granulates, dried herbs and vegetables
Processing 3 (Products with long shelf life at room temperature)Canned products, biscuits, snacks, oil and derivatives, drinking water, pasta, flour, bakery products, sugar, salt, chocolate
Chemical and biochemical manufacturingFood additives, dietary supplements, vitamins, processing aids, cleaning aids, enzymes, microbial products, natural yeast, glycerin, fatty acids


HFA is also looking beyond food, pharma and personal care to the halal logistics and supply chain. According to Mohammed, the organisation has secured an ‘exclusive partnership’ with the Malaysian Institute of Transportation (MITRANS) of Universiti Teknologi MARA, to develop and deliver training in halal logistics and supply chain in the UK and Europe. 

"This initiative will help in achieving halal compliance in the logistics arena,” said Mohammed.


By March 2017, ESMA intends to implement a policy where all halal products exported to the UAE must be certified by bodies accredited under UAE 2055-2 and registered with ESMA.

Other certifiers currently recognised by ESMA are:

Asia Pacific
  1. New Zealand Islamic Development Trust
  2. Halal Certification Authority (Sydney, Australia)
  3. Islamic Coordinating Council of Victoria (Australia)
  4. The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils Inc
  5. Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia
  6. NPO Japan Halal Association
  7. Halal Certification Agency (Vietnam)
  8. Emirates Halal Center for Standards & Quality Certificate Corporation (Japan)
  9. Halal Accreditation Council (Guarantee) Limited (Sri Lanka)
Middle East
  1. RACS Quality Certificates Issuing Services (Dubai, UAE)
  2. GulfTIC Certification L.L.C. (Dubai, UAE)
  3. SGS Gulf Ltd (UAE)
  1. Halal Feed and Food Inspection Authority (Netherlands)
  2. RACS Quality Certificates Issuing Services (Germany)
  3. Halal Control GmbH (Germany)
  4. Halal Certification Europe (registered in the UK)
  5. Halal International Authority (Italy)

    1. Halal Transactions Inc (USA)



CASE STUDY-UK independent certifier Halal Food Authority going global to stay ahead

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